Which way will the Phillies go in the 2020 MLB Draft?
The Phillies enter the 2020 MLB Draft with the 15th overall pick coming off a disappointing 2019 season under now-former manager Gabe Kapler. Picking in the middle of the first round is never fun because it means you weren’t good enough to get into the playoffs but you were too good to have the opportunity to take a quality young player atop the draft.
This will be the latest Philadelphia has taken a player in the first round since J.P. Crawford went 16th overall in 2013. This is also the second-consecutive year they’ve had a later pick after taking Alec Bohm third overall in 2018 and Bryson Stott 14th overall in 2019.
There are a lot of different projections for the Phillies in the first round, so we’re taking a look at which players they could potentially select in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft.
The Phillies could take another local product, Nick Bitsko
Central Bucks East High School starting pitcher Nick Bitsko has been a fast riser on draft boards, jumping into the first round in recent mock drafts after his draft status was moved up one year.
The Doylestown native has committed to play for the University of Virginia, one of college baseball’s best programs. At 6’4 he was able to get his fastball to average 92-93 MPH but hit as high as 97 MPH with a breaking ball and changeup, according to MLB Pipeline.
His fastball and curveball both rank 60 out of 80 on the baseball grading scale and his control and overall abilities came in at a 55. His changeup is still a project, but it has potential to grow into a solid third pitch. High school players are typically more of a project than a finished product given the fast they typically grow more and can put on more muscle as they age. The Phillies could certainly use more pitching depth in their system and Bitsko would be a solid addition with the 15th pick.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Phillies take a local player in the first round. Jesse Biddle is the most memorable going 27th overall out of Germantown Friends High School in 2010. It was the first and (so far) only time the club has taken a player out of a Pennsylvania high school or college program.
The Phillies have taken three consecutive college hitters since using the first overall pick on Mickey Moniak in 2016. Going with Bitsko would certainly be a big change for the organization.